Chase Manhattan Corp. has hired a Wall Street veteran to run junk bond sales and trading in the banking company's securities subsidiary.

Jonn Kolmer, 49, will join Chase Securities Inc. next month, following an 18-year stint at CS First Boston, where he built up that firm's junk bond sales and trading desk.

Chase Manhattan, along with a handful of other commercial banks, has clearance from regulators to underwrite corporate debt. Up to now, though, Chase has not been a significant factor in either the investment- or speculative-grade corporate debt markets.

Strong Signal

But Chase is trying to change that, as part of broad buildup of its global capital markets business, run by Kathylynn O'Donnell, executive vice president.

The hiring of Mr. Kolmer is a "vivid" sign of Chase's ambitions in the junk bond business, said Robert Cohen, head of fixed-income securities.

In his new job - which is also a newly created post at Chase Mr. Kolmer will report directly to Mr. Cohen, who joined Chase last July from Goldman, Sachs & Co. Earlier in his career, Mr. Cohen worked with Mr. Kolmer at First Boston.

Mr. Kolmer is on vacation and couldn't be reached for comment on his move to Chase. A First Boston spokeswoman had no comment.

Structuring, Pricing Role

As head of sales and trading at Chase, Mr. Kolmer will deal mainly with junk bond investors.

He also will work with Chase investment bankers and issuers on structuring and pricing the bonds that Chase underwrites on behalf of its clients.

Last year, Chase was lead manager of junk bond underwritings for Sinclair Broadcasting Co. and Canandaigua Wine Co.

Chase also comanaged deals for Revlon, USAir, G-I Holdings, and Texas-New Mexico Power, among others.

Among commercial banks, though, Bankers Trust New York Corp.'s securities affiliate has made the greatest strides as an underwriter of junk bonds. J.P. Morgan & Co. leads other commercial banks in cracking the investment-grade side of the business.

In building up its capital markets business, Chase has embarked on a hiring binge, with plans to add some 200 bankers over the next year or so.

Many of the new hires likely will come from Wall Street investment firms.

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